I'm sorry, but I have to start off with some bad news today. I sad to report that my "grandpa" passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. But you know what they say: "If you don't keep your mouth shut, you can't expect to not have your testicles hooked up to a car battery". He's in a better place now.
I'm glad that's out of the way. On with the show. This is (as the title suggests) my quest for gremlins. Now if you're thinking "Gremlins aren't real, what the hell is this guy trying to prove?", you obviously didn't read my earlier post. Next time you should do your homework. If you haven't read this yet (http://mindlessdiversions.blogspot.com/2008/01/i-have-gremlin-envy.html), you MUST not continue. Go and read it now. I'll save your place in line. For anyone else here's a picture to get you in the mood.
All done? Stupid, right? Now imagine if I kept that shit bottled up inside my head. We're all better off this way, trust me. This is my quest for a DVD copy of the movie Gremlins. The movie filmed by god himself and handed down for us mere mortals to enjoy. God's a great guy like that. If you had read my earlier post, you would also know that I have, what some may call, an "unhealthy" obsession with Gremlins. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that I would happily drift off to sleep every night, balls deep inside a Gizmo doll if it was socially acceptable to do so. As it is not, my fantasy remains a pipe dream. Someday Gizmo...someday. Wow, two testicle references in the first few paragraphs. I've got to pace myself.
So here is the problem. Gremlins = awesome. Kris's DVD shelf = no Gremlins. Pretty simple problem, and one that is easily rectified, no? So you would think. But as with all aspects of my life, my arch nemesis (public transportation) would rear its ugly head. As you may or may not know, I am currently without wheels. It is a long and sordid tale, that I will save for another time. For now all you need to know is that I ride the bus. And the bus hates me. Luckily, this quest would not require a bus, as I live within a 10 minute walk to both a large video store, and a large department store. Convenience, your name is city living. I had happened to spy a copy of Gremlins at the video store only a few weeks before and so thought this would be the place to start, and hopefully finish. Run to the video store, purchase Gremlins, retreat back to my cave to watch Gremlins. Short and sweet.
The only thing worrying me at that moment was the weather. The weather update on my computer told me that with windchill, the temperature was hovering around MINUS 40 DEGREES CELCIUS. That is a statement that can only be typed in all caps. I probably should have just stayed in my apartment, but the pull of Gizmo and Stripe and Phoebe Cates was far too strong. I wrapped a scarf around my face and boldly strode (strided?) outside to face my destiny.
Remember when I said that the walk was only 10 minutes? Well even though it was only 10 minutes, I looked like an arctic explorer by the time I got to the video store. Icicles in my goatee and everything. You know what feels really good? Feeling your nose hairs freeze together into one mighty nose hair. I know I live in Canada, but come the fuck on. But it would be worth it. I was only a few minutes away from clutching Gremlins tightly to my chest and exhaling the sigh of a pre-pubecent teenage girl with a crush on her history teacher. Descriptive, right?
I walk into the video store and strut confidently towards the appropriate rack. An occasion for Gremlins is an occasion to strut. Remember that. I scan the rack, but somethings missing. I can't see the angelic glow that usually surrounds every movie rack containing Gremlins. What the hell? I walk indignetly over to the clerk to demand answers.
Excuse me fine sir, but there seems to be a problem with your DVD selection
Clerk: What would that be?
You don't have any copies of the greatest movie ever made is all.
Clerk: What are you talking about? There are tons of copies of Titanic over there.
Whoa whoa there buddy. There's no call for that kind of fucking language! Just sell me a copy of Gremlins and I'll be on my way.
Clerk: What's a Gremlin?
Okay, in the interest of staying out of jail, I'm going to forget you said that. Please just let me give you some money, you can give me Gremlins and we all win.
At this point the clerk clearly thinks I'm insane, but I don't care. There's too much at stake to worry about public perception. He shuffles over to his computer and slowly types it in.
Clerk: Nope, sorry. We're sold out.
You can't be serious. I froze my balls off (that's three, folks) coming here, and I'm going to leave empty handed? That is unacceptable, and I will never return to your piece of shit store again!
Clerk: Oh come on. Don't be like that.
Okay, I'll probably be back, but I feel the need to be indignant right now. Is that cool with you?
I'm glad we agree. Good day to you sir.
And with that I took my leave. Not so successfully, but I think I proved my point. Whatever that might have been. Swing and a miss. Luckily, there was a department store right across the street. Surely in a large department store, there would have Gremlins. Right? Right? Before you answer, you should know that this wasn't any department store. This was fucking Zellers. If you don't know about Zellers, imagine a Walmart, but not as classy. That's Zellers.
I ran across 6 lanes of busy traffic, without thinking twice. The store was going to close in the next 10 minutes. I had no time to wait for the lights to change. Fuck it. I can still watch Gremlins from a wheelchair. I dodged car after car and miraculously made it in one piece. Things were starting to go my way. I entered Zellers, put my Gremlins strut back into use, and made my way to Electronics.
It became apparent very quickly that Zellers did not believe in the value of organized shelf stocking. The place was like a fucking war zone of clearance priced ugly sweaters and discount, no name everything. The DVDs were organized in no clear way that any sane person could have devised. It was like they handed six drunk toddlers stacks of movies and told them to "have at it". This was going to require the help of a cashier.
Hey buddy, I know you're about to close, but I could use your help.
Clerk 2: Sure thing. What can I help you find?
I really need a copy of Gremlins, and I need it tonight. I can't stress how important this is.
Clerk 2: Hmmmmmmmm..........hmmmmmmmmmmm......hmmmmmmmmm
Clerk 2: Did you look in the DVD section?
What? Well...no, not really, but its a fucking mess dude. I figured you could just save us the time and check it out on your computer. You know, tell me if you have any in stock. Because if I start blindly searching through that mess, we're going to be here for a long time. And I don't know about you, but I didn't bring my sleeping bag.
Clerk 2: What are you talking about?
Nothing at all. Can you search your computer for Gremlins please.
Clerk 2: No
........................................................................What the fuck do you mean, no? Aren't you here to make sure my shopping experience at Zellers is top notch?
Clerk 2: What I mean is, we don't have that capability on our computer system.
So you can't tell me what DVDs you sell? You do sell DVDs right? How can your computer system not do the most basic thing imaginable? Why am I asking you so many questions when we both know you're not going to be able to answer them anyway?
Clerk 2: Sir, if you would be so kind as to take your purchases to the front counter, the store is about to close.
WHAT PURCHASES?!?!?! You won't help me find what I want to purchase. I want to see the manager.
Clerk 2: I am the manager
You're like 16 years old though. What the fuck? Let me guess, you personally organized the DVD shelves, right? Don't answer that, please. I'm just going to go.
Clerk 2: Thanks for choosing Zellers!
I walked slowly to the exit, wondering if the automatic doors would even register my presence, since my very soul had just been wrenched from my body and shattered on the floor, like so much cheap, ugly Zellers merchandise. I hung my head and left, in a much less jovial mood than when I had arrived. It's moments like these when I really need some sound effects in my life. Don't you wish your life had a soundtrack? Think of it. When I left that store, all I could hear was the slow, meloncholy rhythms of REM's "Everybody Hurts". A tad melodramtic maybe, but appropriate nonetheless.
I shuffled along the sidewalk, back to my apartment, when I spotted something that gave me hope. But at the same time, filled me with horrible dread. The bus stop. Seeing that bus stop sparked some knowledge in my near frozen brain. By god, there's a Blockbuster Video not 10 blocks from here. I could easily take the bus there, and they HAVE to have Gremlins. It's Blockbuster law. This might actually work! I congratulated myself for a well thought out plan. Now all I have to do is wait for the bus to show up. Sure, I'm getting frostbite, but the bus is bound to get here soon. Right? Right?
So I waited......
And I waited.....
And just for fun, I waited a bit more.
Fuck. It was about 40 minutes into my wait for the bus (in sub Arctic temperatures remember), that I cried "uncle". I couldn't stands no more. My toes were probably turning black inside my shoes, and I needed to get to some warm, but fast. I headed home, defeated at last. As I was rounding the corner (about 5 minutes from the bus stop) I seen something that caused an uncouth comment to spring forth from my mouth. The goddamn bus was driving past me. Have you ever seen someone shake their fist at a bus, while they screamed "fucking cuntrag" after it? I'm sure someone got a laugh out of it, but I was not amused. No amount of running and waving was going to bring this bus to a halt, and the bus stop was too far away to make it in time. I gave up the chase, doubled over and fought to catch my breath. Winter is not a friendly time for smokers, no matter how you look at it.
Fuck it, I thought. I'm going home. I'll just order the son of a bitch off of Ebay.
And I did.